Thursday, April 28, 2011

Senators Call Liquor Kiosk Plan 'Premature'

A pair of state senators is denouncing a plan to add liquor to the wine kiosks set up by the state last year.

Democratic Senator Jim Ferlo says the legislature wasn't told about the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board pilot program, even during lengthy discussions about modernizing the state store system.

Ferlo and Republican Senator John Pippy co-chair the committee that oversees the Liquor Code. Both disagree with the proposal.

Ferlo says now is not the time for this plan, since wine kiosks are producing weak sales and the LCB itself is under pressure.

"We know the governor and many in the House, the Republican majority, are pushing the complete elimination of the state store system, which to me is financially foolhardy," says Ferlo. "We have a great state store system which generates hundreds of millions of dollars back to the state government, and we have a controlled system."

Ferlo says while wine is appropriate in a grocery store setting, liquor is not. He says he's also concerned about minors gaining access to hard liquor through this plan.

The Allegheny County Democrat says the idea to put liquor at kiosks should first be vetted through the legislature and the public before being implemented. The pilot program would launch in a few months.

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